Authors Notes: This fanfiction is based on the Lord of the Rings books and others of Tolkien’s great work and notes; I own nothing.

On the topic of Glorfindel I have decided, for the purpose of this story, to apply the debatable theory in which he once died in the First Age and was brought back to life and came back to Middle-Earth in the Second Age to aid Elrond and Gil-Galad; I apologize to anyone who does not readily accept this theory.

As for my main character, I do hope she does not scare you to death in the first chapter of her hellish existence; she does get better, worry not. I have tried to disturb as little of Tolkien’s plot as possible in introducing her into Middle-Earth, though it would be wholly impossible not to disturb a few things.

Immense thanks to all the people who helped me beta and edit this chapter!

!!!WARNING!!!: This story contains references, and scenes of, non-explicit rape/tortute/sex; as well as deals with topics of depression, suicide and Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If ANY of these things offend you or trouble you, PLEASE, do not read any further. Consider yourself warned.

Now, since I have never (thanks the Luck) been in any situation traumatizing enough to suffer from PTSD, I cannot draw Melina’s eperience from my own. Therefore, though I have researched the symptoms and causes of PTSD and tried to write it as truly as possible, I do wish to apologize if I somehow insult anyone who suffers from, or knows a victim of, PTSD. For anyone interested, you can enter the letters PTSD in wikipedia and learn of this disorder.

Finally: I decided to put the Prologue and First chapter under the same submission because the Prologue really has nothing to do with Middle-Earth.


“You were a stranger to sorrow: therefore Fate has cursed you.”
-Euripides (484 BC – 406 BC), Alcestis, 438 B.C.

The nurse left the room quietly, so as not to wake up the old woman. As soon as she was out and the door was securely closed behind her, she let out a breath of relief; Melina Whiner was the worst patient she had ever seen at the institution. Cranky, independent, foul mouthed and violent, Melina would also often pretend to be senile and conveniently “forget” to take her medications. It was not a wonder that her family, whoever they were, had decided to get rid of her; and not surprising either that in the 9 years since she had arrived at the nursing home, Melina had never entertained any guests or received any letters. This had been the subject of much conversation between the nurses; who paid for her expensive stay here? But the accountant for the nursing home rarely came to the place and when he did, he refused to talk about the private information of any resident. Celine wondered if she even had a family. Usually the elderly did not place themselves in nursing homes… usually.

Wherever she had come from, she had never been taught any sort of manners; or if she had, she certainly did not apply them here. Celine remembered one incident last week where she had been close to hitting the old hag. She had been in the midst of a routine cleaning round, dusting, sanitizing, changing, but as she had been about to leave she heard Melina spit behind her. She had turned around calmly and looked at the yellowish fall of slobber and mucus on the otherwise clean floor. You’ve seen worse, she tried to tell herself as she bent down and wiped away the disgusting liquid. But as she stood up again, she heard Melina say:

-“I believe you’ve missed a spot dear heart!” Celine looked at her and saw such maliciousness in the woman’s eyes that she almost lashed out with her hand. Instead, she turned and left the room, not even gracing the woman with a “good night” as she heard her laughed hysterically.

Celine shook the memory from her mind and slowly walked up to each room under her care to make sure everyone was asleep and comfortable. She passed one last time in front of Melina’s room, pressed her ear to the door and when she was satisfied that it was quiet, she left for the kitchen. She would be able to relax for an hour or so before she’d have to wake up Mr. Balken from room 123; he needed to be taken to the bathroom every 3 hours, or else she would have to be cleaning a nasty mess. She sat by herself in the brightly lit cafeteria, over a hot, steaming mug of black coffee and thought about her schedule for tomorrow.

She would have to go do the grocery sometime after she’d wake up and then pick up her daughter from dance practice; remind her husband to pick up the babysitter and then they would leave for a fancy evening at an Italian restaurant. She smiled at the prospect; they had reserved the babysitter for the entire night so that they would be able to sleep at the 4 stars Hotel downtown; it would be, after all, their 5th anniversary. Celine chuckled like a little girl and wished she could speed up time in some way and be with her husband now; instead she looked at the clock which indicated that it was only 10pm; sighed, and brought the mug to her lips.

BOOM! Celine jumped at the sound and cursed as she felt hot coffee fall over her hands and white uniform. She got up and tried to brush away the offending liquid while jogging towards the patients ward. Where had the noise come from? Was it Allan from 114 who was sleep walking again? Or maybe old Bill from 130 who was knocking on his wall… But as she walked further into the corridor, quickly opening each door and scanning each beds, a strange sense of dread filled her guts.

It hadn’t been Allan after all, he was sound asleep, and so was everyone else between him and Bill, who was also asleep; only one room remained, Melina’s. Peering into room 131, Celine let out a cry of stupor at the scene before her; Melina was shaking violently in her bed, clutching her left arm. Celine rushed to her side, but almost tripped on the night table and its content, which had fallen and had been the probable cause of the noise. She jumped over the offending objects and into the old woman’s bed.

“It ok Melina… calm down… breathe, look at me, its going to be alright…” but Celine could see that the woman was scared to death and that she was growing weaker in her struggles.

The nurse pressed the emergency button on her pager, which she kept at all times on her belt, and hoped that the ambulance would get there in time. The woman was now barely moving and her eyes were wide open in terror. Her right hand was still tightly hooked around her left arm, which seemed to hang lifelessly over the side of the small bed. Celine had only witnessed the death of one patient, a year prior, and even though they were trained for these situations, she still found herself feeling powerless and distressed. It was only after 10 minutes, which seemed like hours to her, that the medics rushed in the room and gently, but firmly, tossed her aside to take care of their patient.

Celine did not notice how they revived her, nor what they shot up Melina’s arm or what equipment they installed around the patient’s bed. She answered their questions without realizing she was speaking; no, there hadn’t been anything unusual today with Melina; yes, for once she had indeed taken her medications; no, she hadn’t received any disturbing visitors; she never had visitors, she was all alone… no one else in the world to care if she was going to die or live… all alone.

“Miss! …Miss!” the medic cried and Celine suddenly came out of her trance.

“I’m sorry… what?” She felt her cheeks become red and kicked herself mentally; this was not the time to lose it.

“She’ll be alright, for now. But you should communicate with her family… she won’t be here for long; two days at most.”

Celine only nodded, there was nothing more any of them could do, they would leave her here… it was better to die here than in a hospital, at least she thought so. Contact her family, she thought; what family? She stared blankly into the medic’s face as he told her that she should inform the establishment’s doctor of the situation and she nodded in their direction when they left. The room fell silent again and Celine approached the bedside of the old woman; she seemed to be unconscious, sleeping probably.

She sat on the bed and a lonely tear fell on her smooth cheek… No one should die alone, should they? No matter how horrible they were, how harsh they could be and how tough they’d like to believe they were, no one should have to go through this alone… not even this woman. Gently, she lifted Melina’s right hand; it was cold and rough to the touch, but she held it tight and rubbed it unconsciously. She was so lost in her thoughts that she did not notice that the woman had awoken and was speaking to her until she was in mid-sentence.

“…for nothing you know. It was bound to happen! Oh and off with you, I don’t need a young healthy nurse by my side to remind me that I only have a few days to live…” but her arguments fell to deaf ears and her voice was so weak that it lacked any real feelings. Celine didn’t even budge.

“No respect for their elders…” she heard Melina mumbling before she drifted back to sleep.

Celine stayed with her as long as she could, before tending to her other duties; there was a mess waiting for her when she arrived, too late, to Mr. Balken’s room. The rest of her shift went like any other and it was easy to get lost in the routine and forget about the dying woman in room 131. She had contacted the doctor like the medic had recommended, and the young man had arrived soon after, asked her a few questions and went to tend to Melina. When she left for home in the morning, Celine was exhausted and immediately fell asleep after her shower.

The next day went just as plan; she woke up early afternoon, somewhat well rested and drove to the local grocery store. She picked up everything on the list, twice, and was at the cash register before she realized her mistake; she cursed herself mentally and tried to push away the thoughts of Melina. After she apologized 100 times to the cashier and left with only half of what she had brought to the counter, she went home, dropped the grocery bags for her husband to put away and hurried out before he could say one word to her; she was late to pick up Natasha. Celine was not late. But she only learnt this when she brought the car to a stop in the empty parking lot in front of the dancing hall; looking at the clock she realized she was in fact 2 hours early.

Dropping her head heavily against the stirring wheel, she groaned; snap out of it, she thought. At least Andrew had more sense than his wife and when she arrived with her daughter a few hours later, the babysitter was already there. The couple left after making sure everything was in order. Celine was not a great conversation at the restaurant, and though they had an agreement not to talk about work, Andrew asked what was bothering her so much. Celine told him about Melina’s heart attack, but quickly shrugged it off and began eating her now cold pasta. At least she was able to forget about the cursed woman when they arrived at the hotel room; Andrew made sure of that. She relaxed under his strong hand as he gave her the most amazing massage ever; and laughed whole heartedly when they were assailed by millions of bubbles after Andrew dropped the bottle of soap in the bathtub. And then they retired to bed, and though they got little sleep, Celine did not complain at all. She did not think about Melina again until she was on the road to the nursing home Sunday night and wondered if the woman would even be alive when she got there.

She was. In fact Melina was as cranky and difficult as she had ever been and the nurse who worked the shift before Celine was more than happy to leave the old hag in another’s care. Celine went about her cleaning and medicating, but she left Melina’s room for last so that she could spend more time with the woman. When she entered the dark room she thought Melina was asleep; but as she began to clean she heard a cough and turned to the bed where the old woman was grinning broadly to her.

“Its going to happen tonight, you’ll see. I’ll finally leave this terrible place and go somewhere great, some place beautiful where I can start over and not end up in this shit hole.” She chuckled, but was cut by a violent fit of coughing.

“Don’t say that. I’m sure you have more time then you think,” Celine replied and tried to give the woman her most honest and reassuring smile.

“HA! Don’t wish me bad luck; why on earth would I want to spend more time here, uh? To see you and others like you trying to comfort me, to remind me that my entire life was a failure; that no one comes to visit me because there is no one, because the people I use to know left me to my own fate; why would I want to be reminded that I never married, never had children, never left my own god damn house for 60 years until I was dragged here by my maid! Oh don’t you worry, I’ll be gone by the end of the night and you won’t have to pretend to care about the old bitch in room 131 because she’ll be gone! Gone somewhere new… somewhere better than this.”

Celine could say nothing; she simply looked at the poor old woman and wondered what had happened in her life that had made her such an awful person. She finished her cleaning and left the room quietly, trying to block the words from her mind as she made her way to the cafeteria. But her coffee was not as relaxing as it had always been and the clock’s ticking seemed louder than usual; as if it was in her head, like some sort of countdown… When, at long last, she couldn’t take it, Celine dropped her mug and ran to room 131; it was 4am. She opened the door briskly and entered.

The figure on the bed didn’t move, at first, but then Celine saw that Melina was shaking; her entire body was trembling. She ran to the bed and felt her eyes burn with tears. The woman’s face, as the moonlight showed it, was twisted into a horrific grin, her eyes were wide open with madness and her words gave Celine a cold chill.

“Gone, I’m gone from this… this terrible… your terrible place… You’ll see, a new life and I’ll be pretty too, like all of you… So pretty, somewhere so pretty… somewhere nice…”

Her voice softened from a scream to a whisper and, at the very end, her dull, green eyes focused on Celine; she smiled, baring her ugly, toothless mouth, and whispered: “Somewhere where I can start over…” She died in the arms of the young nurse.


Chapter 1

“Let the punishment match the offense.”
-Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC)

Melina groaned as she slowly came back to consciousness. Her body ached so much that her brain had difficulty registering what exactly hurt and where. She took a deep breath, but instead of the stale air of the nursing home she inhaled dust and smoke. Coughing and spitting, Melina opened her eyes and realized she was lying on her stomach, naked, on a very uncomfortable ground. Fear began to creep its way into her mind and she felt her heart pump faster. Where was she? Pushing herself up on her knees, Melina could only stare at her surrounding with an open mouth unable to truly take in what she was seeing. She was outside, in a place she could only describe as a wasteland. There were no trees, no grass, no flowers; only a blackened ground and giant fires which seemed to be coming from the earth itself.

Melina’s eyes widened in horror when she noticed that there were creatures moving around the place; they were not like anything she had ever seen, short, ugly, brown or blackish with red eyes and evil smiles. Melina made to get up and perhaps run away, but as she slowly raised herself, she realized that something was wrong… or right, depending on how you saw it. Her knees didn’t hurt like they always did, the back of her hands were smooth and looking down at the rest of her naked body, Melina realized that she wasn’t the 93 year old she had been minutes ago… she was young.

She couldn’t explain the feeling that took over her then; a mix of ecstasy and terror. The feeling settled comfortably in her mind and she took another deep breath; the fires and creatures were forgotten. She smiled evilly at nothing in particular and had to keep herself from jumping in joy. She had won! Won over life and time and its hold against all things alive; she had come back, young and ready to begin anew… she had won!

Melina was still in the middle of celebrating her revenge against everything and everyone she had ever met and hated when she felt a cold hand grip her left arm, hard. She winced and screamed at the unexpected feeling before she turned to face her assailant. Who dare touch her in her moment of glory? One of the little horrible beings was spitting curses at her in a language she’d never heard before, or at least she figured they were curses from his tone of voice. She tried to free herself from his strong grip, but the ugly thing only grinned at her, smacked his lips and began dragging her away.

Melina cursed under her breath, this wasn’t the way it was supposed to happen. Looking around, she hoped to find a way to escape this horrible place where, obviously, she did not belong and had been sent by mistake. When her eyes fell on the black tower towards which they were heading, she almost lost all hope. The structure brought such a sense of dread in her guts that Melina wished for nothing more then to be back at the cursed nursery home, in the arms of that silly nurse. She tried pulling on her arm again, but the thing didn’t even seem to notice. More little demons were gathering around them as they approached the tower, each one more ugly than its neighbour. Where was she? Was this one of those purgatories where Men were judged for their past lives and then sent to heaven or hell? Or was she just going through some sort of hilarious nightmare while those insane medics were tying to revive her? Whatever it was, she didn’t like it.

When they reached the bottom of the stairs of the dark tower, the front doors opened in a loud bang, and a man walked out. The light reflecting from his white garments blinded Melina for a second. She shielded her eyes against the light and peered at him between her fingers. He was tall, old and bony… quite ugly, she thought. He looked at her, his eyes piercing and sharp, the only thing about his body that seemed young, Melina thought and felt a sense of triumph: she had won. The moment of victory passed quickly as the man began to speak in a strange and unknown tongue.

After a lengthy speech; the hundred, or so, demons around her exploded in a fit of dreadful laughter and cheers. The man in white seemed very happy with himself and stared her down. Melina, despite herself, felt a sudden sense of humility; she looked away as her cheeks turned bright red. This caused a renewal of the ground shaking laughter and she could see that the demon holding her arm carried his head a little higher than it had previously; he was expecting a reward for his find.

The man suddenly cried something, waved his hands over the crowd, and all noise was quieted. Melina stuck out her head high again and glared at him. He simply smirked, spoke some more, and then re-entered his domain. She almost breathed out a sigh of relief, thinking that her troubles were ended, but the little demon suddenly began to walk up the stairs to bring her into his master’s house. Melina’s effort against her captor redoubled. She kicked, screamed and pleaded while the thinning crowd whistled, spit and chuckled. Tears flowed freely down her cheeks when they reached the door and she was dragged into the tower, the doors closing behind her.

The sudden change of light caused her eyes to experience a short, but disconcerting, period of blindness. Blinking furiously to clear away her tears, Melina’s pleas for help were now nothing more than mumbles even she couldn’t understand. She was being led down a corridor towards a dimly lit room where she could see the man in white walking in circles. Their entrance stopped his strides and he looked at her directly before giving some sort of order to the demon holding her. The thing immediately let go of her arm and left the room, closing the wooden door behind him. Melina resisted the urge to take a few step backwards, and instead examined the room while the man began another of his long speeches. He talks too much, she thought as her eyes lingered over a particularly interesting bookcase. There were dozens of multicoloured books lined perfectly, none of which she recognized or title she was able to read. Wherever she was, it wasn’t a country where they spoke English.

She was busy examining the contents of a nearby, beautifully crafted table when she felt a shadow looming over her. She became aware of her mistake somewhat too late; this man didn’t take well to not being listened to. He was looking down on her, close enough to reach out and touch her. Melina tried to swallow her fear and appear brave, but when she smiled at him, the man lost his temper and lashed out. His hand came in contact with her cheeks faster then she could register and left a stinging sensation. Melina was too shocked to do anything more then reach up and probe the wounded flesh. He muttered something under his breath and headed towards the door from which the demon had left the room; leaving her unattended. Tracing a hand over her cheek, Melina cursed the man mentally; that son-of-a-bitch, who does he think he is!? The slimy devil, I’ll show him! He thinks he is so great, but he doesn’t know, does he, that I won… he hasn’t won, I did! I made it! He’s old and wrinkly; he lost.

Melina was smiling to herself, much like a mad woman, and even chuckled out loud. She heard a sound of indignation to her left and turned to see the white Devil glaring at her. One of those ugly demons, perhaps the same one that had brought her here, was by his side. The little thing said something to his master, which seemed to appease the man, for he smiled and replied in a cool voice. They talked for a few minutes, perhaps debating her very fate, but Melina didn’t pay them any attention, she had won.

Her ecstasy wasn’t even toned down when she was again gripped by the ugly duckling and dragged out of the room. She even dared to hope that they were going to lead her out, that it was, of course, all a mistake and that they realized she did not belong here; after all, she had won. But the demon did not take her outside, he didn’t even approach the exit door; instead he swerved left and Melina found herself at the bottom of a huge staircase. Without hesitating, the demon began to climb up the never-ending spiral, dragging his prisoner along.

Up and up they went until Melina thought they would touch the sky. Her bare feet were frozen and hurting; they couldn’t do this to her! But on they went for another hundred stairs. At long last, the demon stopped in front of a door and opened it. When Melina saw what was on the other side though, she almost wished they had kept moving upwards… she was being led into a torture chamber. Various tools and weapons covered the walls, along with chains, prisoners and/or skeletons. The room was large and circular, with 4 or 5 other doors, all closed with a small barred window on each; prison cells.

Melina tried to twist her arm free, but it was a reflex more than an honest try, she was too shocked to be able to think clearly. The room contained only one other non-imprisoned inhabitant. It was another demon, much like the one that was leading her, except he wasn’t short or clumsy looking; he was taller than she, with strong arms and an evil, more frightening face. He was in the middle of removing a man’s toenail when they walked in. He turned away from his handy work and Melina saw that the face of the man tied down on the torture table showed relief and hope. How ugly and pitiful he is, thought Melina… that man hadn’t won either, but she had.

She was rudely brought out of her reveries by the shorter and uglier of the demons; he was dragging her towards a second, empty, torture table. Melina’s grin only broadened, the last of her sanity fled from the room and left her to her fantasies. She spit in the demon’s face when he tried to sit her on the table and roared in laugher when he slapped her cheek in response. The taller of the two demons, the Torturer, seemed annoyed by his companion’s stupidity and moved in to interfere.

He pushed aside the smaller demon, which grumbled but didn’t resist, and shoved Melina on the table. The Torturer’s strong hand pressed between her breasts, and kept her torso into place while his other hand worked to secure her hands and feet. She was barely resisting him, lying still on the table and falling into fits of laughter now and then. The smaller demon seemed to be frightened by the woman’s strange behaviour, but the Torturer appeared to find it amusing. After she was securely tied down, the Torturer walked away and returned to his previous victim. Melina heard screams of pain and thought: how weak and ugly that man is, and she laughed.

The smaller demon gave her one last glance before leaving the room… leaving her alone to consider her victory.

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